Northern Chargers extinguish Welsh Fire hopes

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TV Viewers Told: “It Doesn’t Get Any Better” As Welsh Fire Hopes Are Extinguished’ by Jemimah Rodrigues

‘The Hundred’: Northern Superchargers Women v Welsh Fire Women – at Headingley on July 24

Hailed as ‘The Hundred’s’ first superstar, Jemimah Rodrigues remained cool as Superchargers had the odds stacked against them: SKY forecasted 84% chance of a Welsh Fire win. Together with Alice Davidson-Richards, Jemimah Rodrigues hit a record 92* runs, that merited her as ‘Hero of the Match.’ Superchargers victory sends them to top-of-table for fastest net-run-rate ‘NRR’ at the time of writing

‘The Hundred’s’ fourth match was broadcast live (commentators included, Rob Key, Simon Doull, and Kate Cross) from the SKY Sports; plus cricket social media. Batting first, West Indies opener Hayley Matthews (30 runs off 20 balls) top scored for ‘Fire,’ with fellow opener Bryony Smith (29 from 11) making top strike rate. No other ‘Fire’ players scored ‘sixes.’ Three top-order players were clean bowled (Hayley Matthews, Alice Macleod and Georgia Redmayne)

*The match looked all over for ‘Superchargers’ with silence among the home crowd as they slumped to 19/4: losing four wickets during the power-play. Opener Lauren Winfield-Hill (0) played a leading edge to ‘Mid-off’ for a second ball duck and South African Laura Woolvaadt (1) was ‘run-out’ six balls later. At 2/2, ex NZ player-turned-commentator Doull reassured TV viewers that ‘any side could afford to lose two wickets’ during the ‘power-play’

*Thereafter followed the most remarkable comeback as India’s Jemimah Rodrigues (92* runs from 43 balls) – whom Doull humorously described to viewers as ‘weighing less than 50kg when dripping wet’ -became the leading ‘Hundred’ run-scorer at a strike rate that exceeded two-runs-per-ball (213.95). Fellow commentator Rob Key praised Alice Davidson-Richards (23* from 28) who ‘played a key part’ by scoring singles to keep Jemimah Rodrigues on strike. With scores level, Alice Davidson-Richards struck the winning single to seal Superchargers’ victory

*After the match, ‘Fire’ (and ex-England) Keeper Sarah Taylor told SKY Sports that Jemimah Rodrigues had been exceptionally clever at finding gaps. Also ‘very strong’ on the off-side. Kate Cross added that her innings was ‘incredible to watch.’ Ben Stokes told viewers: ‘It doesn’t get any better!’

Result: Northern Superchargers (Women) 131/4 beat Welsh Fire (Women) 130/8 by 6 wickets (15 balls remaining)

Welsh Fire (WF-W) 130/8 (1.3 runs-per-ball) Hayley Matthews 30 runs from 20 balls, Bryony Smith 19 from 11, Sarah Taylor 18 from 17; Superchargers bowling: Linsey Smith 3/14, Kate Levick 2/16, Alice Davidson-Richards 2/30, Elizabeth Russell 1/24; Fow: 1-25, 2-47, 3-74, 4-91, 5-114, 6-115, 7-122, 8-130

Northern Superchargers (NS-W) 131/4 (1.54 rpb) Jemimah Rodrigues 92* runs from 43 balls, Alice Davidson-Richards 23* from 28; Fire bowling: Piepa Cleary 1/14, Bryony Smith 1/26, Hayley Matthews 1/29; Fow: 1-0, 2-2, 3-7, 4-19

Scorecard at: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/the-hundred-women-s-competition-2021-1252659/northern-superchargers-women-vs-welsh-fire-women-4th-match-1252703/full-scorecard